My Experience of Enlightenment: Part II
Last year, I wrote a blog post about having what people generally think of as a ‘peak’ or ‘enlightenment’ experience in the summer. I didn’t explain in enough detail at the time, was far too enthralled with what was happening to go that deep into it. It was the most incredible shift in consciousness I have ever experienced, one of the highlights of my life thus far. I don’t think words will ever do it justice, but I can try.
Long story short: I lost my personal sense of self. I lost the identification with ‘I’…with the thing that makes Coral, Coral. I lost my sense of being an individual person, a ‘self’ and instead was filled with the most extraordinary emptiness. There was no spoon. There was no ‘I’…..I was thinking about myself in the third person, as if ‘Coral’ was a someone I could talk about as being something other than me……it was like something came out of nowhere and took my ENTIRE OS X out. The thing is, the onset happened within seconds….I was sitting on the bathroom floor. Feeling kind of sad and depressed. I’d been reading some lady online, a blogger with a fascinating perspective on the mind and on what is called the ‘false self’. According to this woman, there are a million methods to reach pure presence out there, but hers is the fastest way: a programmers shortcut for the human mind. The main thing she tells you to do is realize that whenever you feel negative or unwanted thoughts or emotions, they’re not true. The person feeling it is your false self. The true self doesn’t create problems or issues. The true self exists in a heaven like state of peaceful abundance in every way. For the true self, life is fucking wonderful and every moment is full of clarity and pure creative potential. The false self exists within duality. It’s the false self that believes the signals that come from painful thoughts and emotions, which are apparently just reactions to this illusion we have temporarily projected ourselves into. When the true self takes its power back by not believing the emotional signals from the false self, your external reality changes all around you like magic. You find ‘heaven’ again, she says….within you. You stop manifesting issues or problems and start externally manifesting paradise around you instead. Life just works.
Yes, you just read that. It sounds mad weird, right? I couldn’t wrap my head around it at first, such a peculiar ideology it was. But something in me was sensing something to it, so I kept with it and started using these new tools as part of my healing journey. If we truly ‘create our realities’, then doesn’t it almost make sense that we should legit have that much personal power? We throw that cliché around in spiritual circles all the time, but here was this woman telling me ‘you can ACTUALLY do that.’ It seemed unbelievable. But I’d experienced a great deal of trauma in my life, which was still reverberating through me, disallowing the internal liberation I so deeply desired. So I figured, why not try this? I started to sit with my negative thoughts and emotional reactions and tell myself they aren’t true, and the situations that spurred them aren’t real. Not in an abstract way but literally, as explained on the website…. Sounds crazy, right? I know.
Anyway: back we go to the bathroom floor:
I am sitting there, worrying, ruminating as we are all apt to do. By now, I had been practicing this new technique for a few weeks, and strangely, it did improve various situations in my life. It wasn’t easy at first, you have to suspend disbelief in consensus/apparent *reality* in a way and to an extent that is hard for any normally socialized person. You have to get a certain level of mastery over your mind to end up like I did when the ‘moment’ happened. She said it’d get easier and it did. I keep at this thing for a few weeks: every thought or emotion I have that hurts, I immediately remind myself it is a false reaction to an unreal situation. In a way its like you’re hacking your own mind….you ‘over ride’ consensus reality, the ‘apparent’ reality, reaching from a place beyond it: the true self. I’m sitting there a few weeks in. Feeling shitty, worrying about this and that, monkey brain chattering. I do the practice and tell myself that the thoughts/pain are unreal, and I search for the ‘false underlying belief’ installed in my mind, which generated the thoughts, and pull it out. *click*…delete. So Im sitting there..
Then all of a sudden……all my thoughts disintegrated into absolute nothingness.
All thought stopped. I became completely quiet inside. All the thoughts just stopped. Complete and utter silence. I remember sitting there on the floor in mild shock, wondering why I couldn’t think anymore. The most I could do was eek one or two words out before the words LITERALLY disintegrated, like dust in the air, like the end of a spliff that should’ve been ashed two passes ago. I know thoughts are not physical in the normal sense but this is the only way I can describe what it felt like. Every attempt to think ended promptly in the same way, so I eventually stopped trying and got off the floor, succumbing to the immense silence in my head. After a few minutes, ‘I’ stopped existing. I’m going to try my best to explain this….but I don’t know if I can.
Imagine there is a ball of energy inside your body that is ‘you’ and that your physical body is what this ball of energy is currently wearing. Usually we identify with the physical body: it has a name, it has a past and memories, it’s gone through experiences. We see ourselves AS selves, and come to identify with the body suit, not the ball of energy/light we really are. Our body suits have alllllll these labels on them and we think they are who we are. When my sense of self dissolved, that died.
My perspective was no longer personal but became impersonal. I was a ball of energy that had become aware of being in a body suit, and was experiencing reality from that perspective instead of the normal one.
Imagine again, that that ball of energy inside you, that makes you YOU and animates the character you are playing, is made of the same stuff that every other physical thing is made of. In fact, EVERYTHING that exists is made up of the stuff in the ball of energy that your body is wearing. Now, imagine that all of a sudden, your identification with the body suit just falls away, just dies. You would feel yourself to be the big ball of energy you are, which everything is. Right? You would actually feel like a floaty ass ‘spirit’ instead of a dense, earthbound ‘body’, right?
Wrong. I felt completely EMPTY . No-thing. There was just a void. That ball of energy I had you thinking about, is not a ‘thing’….. It doesn’t exist in the way our human physical brains think of ‘things that exist’. It is the consciousness which precedes and produces the illusion of all ‘things’……but it is not a ‘thing’, itself. So when my ‘human Coral’ conditioned perspective dropped, there was no-thing left. I felt like…a shell honestly. All that was left was awareness, consciousness itself. Pure awareness, while in a human body. Unmediated by thought. No spoon.
When you think about yourself, you probably think about ‘you’ in a personal way. You have a name, likes and dislikes, this and that. You think about ‘you’, who ‘you’ are. I literally lost my ability to think of myself as an ‘I’…..imagine that you can no longer refer to yourself as ‘you’ because there is no ‘you’ to refer to, you are just consciousness wearing a body? I couldn’t even generate self referential thoughts or any thoughts at all, really….they. fizzled. up. They turned into smoke and blew away into nothing, and I immediately returned to an endless calm ocean of peace and stillness inside. Over and over til I gave in and stopped trying.
The first few days were honestly kinda scary as much as they were incredible, I’m not going to lie. Going through this is not something anything prepares you for. It’s kind of frustrating to not be able to think. I also couldn’t feel emotions anymore, only deep feelings from deeeeep inside, like joy or bliss or peace, feelings that are at the soul level, not the human emotional level, not attached to anything external like human emotions are. It can feel kind of weird and boring and ‘flat’ to be like this, so fucking calm and peaceful and still, all the time. I kind of missed the contrast, the richness of varied experience provided by the illusion of the separate ‘self’…..ironic for a hardcore spiritual seeker/trauma survivor, huh 😉 But honestly it was such a drastic mental/emotional shift that at certain moments I was afraid…….It’s a lot to get used to especially if you are used to a racing thoughts and overthinking, like most of us are. To go from mental chaos/emotional turbulence to completely fucking quiet with absolutely no emotional ups and downs? It was beautiful and profound but it was also a lot. I felt I understood why monks stayed away and lived on the outskirts of society. Once you see through the illusion of you, you see through the entire illusion…and living in a world of people under the spell of that illusion gets a little wonky….you can’t really relate because your entire vantage point is different. You don’t make sense to them if you try to explain, because there is no ‘you’…..When I left this state I was actually kind of grateful to be ‘back’…I wasn’t ready yet, to let myself die for good. I will admit that the hardest part of going through this was not being around anyone who really understood. I know I worried my loved ones a bit, because I was trying to explain things from this new perspective that just doesn’t make sense from the normal ‘I’, self perspective.
Nonetheless, I knew I had to come back. My partner knows ‘Coral’ as coral…. there are friends and family and a career to attend to, so I need to play/really inhabit the role of Coral to spend my time on Earth in the most meaningful way and accomplish my purpose. The personal relationships ‘Coral’ has built here mean more to me than transcendence……found all this out later tho.
Moving on. The next thing that happened was the laughter. This is probably my favorite part of the experience. I was observing my mind, as I realized the illusory nature of the character it created to fuck around in time and space, currently called ‘Coral’ in this incarnation. I knew, not felt but knew, that ‘Coral’ is an illusion, a bunch of ideas and experiences, but my true nature is so much more than that. And I burst out laughing like I heard the funniest joke there ever was. I was DYING laughing at how ridiculous this ‘pretending to be a separate entity from all that is’ business was. It suddenly became so fucking funny to me, I felt I had been hoodwinked or something. Gut clenching belly laughter, wondering wow, what the fuck? This is the point? I did this to myself, and all is well and always has been and cant not be, and I really thought I was a ‘self’, and I believed other people were ‘selves’ too, and we are all just starring in one big ratchet ass movie/holographic projection that seems like a huge fucking deal but its actually not because its not who we really are AT ALL. Like, it is, but it ISNT. I was like omg this is such a joke, forreal tho? (Mystics reading this probably know about the whole ‘cosmic joke’ thing…that’s what happened to me! I had read about people’s enlightenment experiences before it happened…so it was nuts to actually experience all the shit I read about first hand.)
I cannot describe how deep this laughter was, it took over my entire body as a sense of joy and lightness washed over me. I truly felt like I remembered what I really am and I was in a constant state of amazement at beholding my ‘true self’, the emptiness, the nothingness, the undivided connection to all that is which composes the true ‘I’, of which there is only ONE and has always been only One….I felt this oneness but not filtered thru the human intellect. I actually inhabited/experienced it and that shit is wiiiiiiillllllldddddd! I couldn’t look at anyone or anything without seeing ‘me’ in it, everything was made up of the stuff that makes up me.
The next thing was the BLISS.
omfg guys. The bliss…..how do I begin…..I was sitting around alone at my friend Alettas apartment in D.C. still in this state of emptiness/complete quiet/void/no-self, when all of a sudden, something erupted in me like a non physical volcano. I became aware of the God that I am but at a visceral, immediate level. I felt my life force and that force was an explosion of love. It was like a spiritual orgasm or something, lol.
It really felt like two stars collided, or like a hurricane. It sprang up inside my chest cavity and traveled through my body, this unspeakable LOVE AND PURE BLISS. Man, how to describe it? Unlike anything I had ever experienced, happiness more powerful than anything before it, joy times 100, I was exploding in quiet internal ecstasy out of nowhere! All I could do was sit there and experience it! It’s as if it wasn’t even contained in my body. Its as if the whole universe is made of this love and I was experiencing it without the filter of a human ‘I’ consciousness. I was experiencing myself AS that love. ‘Swimming in a vat of love’ I called it, in my first post, which was a more raw, initial description of what happened to me
(link to that: https://coralthinkstoomuch.wordpress.com/2016/09/30/its-happening/)
A few days later I got on a bus to leave DC and head home and something fascinating happened. My physical body developed a headache, nothing out of the ordinary…but I wasn’t suffering. I felt pain/pressure, but I wasn’t….suffering…it just was and therefore I was able to ignore it…..this is the one thing I truly do not know howww to explain, lol. Barely understand it myself.
When I got off my greyhound bus, it was raining outside. I stared down at my body in pure amazement, thinking omfg, im really in this bitch! Like wow I’m actually down here running around in this beautiful flesh machine, what?? What a MIRACLE it felt like! I remember being outside in the drizzle and suddenly being like OMFG this shit is sooooooooooooooo fucking cool! It felt like having a human body was literally THE place to be in the universe. I felt so incredibly lucky to be here. It was how a child feels, the pure joy of simply being here, being in a human body, able to run, touch, laugh and play. Instead of feeling good because something external made me feel good, simply BEING felt so, soooo good.
Truly incredible moment. I have not felt joy like it since, not even remotely! Mind boggling…I had to stop myself from running around in the rain, dancing and playing, lol.
After about a week and half, ‘Coral’ came back and settled back down into her body/identity. My stretch of ‘enlightenment’ was over. I haven’t been back in that state of consciousness since. I actually do not think enlightenment is the real goal for humans….after all that, I came to understand that spiritual seeking on earth at this time has to be grounded into social reality, not transcended individually. Its cool for an individual to seek these states of being, and I learned soooooo much, and will never regret it, but I came to realize that we came here not to die to ourselves but to give birth to our human-God selves, which are no less beautiful than the oneness I felt, but are actually a sort of ‘God 2.0’….a more complex, advanced form of oneness that manifests through relationships down here in the physical dimensions. Yes, separation from Source and having ‘I’ consciousness causes suffering, but its also so FUN having/being an individual self. It’s so interesting, there is so much depth and contrast and beauty in the experience of this illusion that cannot exist in the ethereal lightness of the God-self/no self/original oneness….. I now believe we are here, first, to experience the illusion in all its uglyness/glory, so that we can learn contrast from the inside out and have ‘experiences’ at all and ‘learn and grow’ at a soul level. Then, at a certain level of soul evolution (old souls) I believe we are supposed to make contact with the bliss, joy and calm of the internal heaven I visited and bring it down to earth through what? Through self expression! Through creating in whatever form your creation takes. Through loving ourselves and each other because we ARE all love, literally. I also believe that we are meant to to cocreate the heavenly state down here, on Earth, in the physical realm, together. That way we get the best of both worlds: the paradise, freedom and and transcendence of the ethereal realms, but also the groundedness, realness, sexiness and intensity of life in a physical body. More on all this soon. God 2.0…..I think Source loves and appreciates us soooo much for being the vehicles/living expresssion of her expansion ❤
Thanks for reading and feel free to share your own peak/meditative/enlightenment experience with me!